Brexit Data Report

What can social media teach us about the motivations of Brexit voters and the global ramifications of the referendum? After analyzing 29 million tweets on the topic, we provide key insights about user views.

Summary

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union sent pundits scrambling and the stock market plummeting. Leading up to the vote, Brexit-related tweets and posts by celebrities, citizens, and even bots surged. What can social media teach us about the motivations of Brexit voters and the global ramifications of the referendum?

While social media users don’t constitute representative samples, the platforms provide organic, immediate sources of big data that offer valuable perspectives on how publics engage with issues over time. First, we observe how social media users engaged with Brexit by analyzing over 29 million tweets. Then we provide insights into the success of the “leave” campaign, the dominance of economic issues in the online debate, and the referendum’s global audience.